Sheriffs Applaud Hobbs Visit to Border
Call on Governor to Add More Money to Fight Border-Related Crime
As Gov. Katie Hobbs tours the Arizona-Mexico border with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Arizona’s sheriffs are asking the governor to revisit her budget proposal and increase funding to combat the illegal border activity.
“We applaud Gov. Hobbs taking a strong interest in the border and seeing for herself the chaos and destruction the illegal activity is having,” ASA president and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said. “We hope now she is ready to work with the 15 sheriffs who are all on the front lines of this battle.”
Hobbs in her budget proposal in January eliminated the Border Strike Task Force for the Department of Public Safety and only allocates money to border communities to fund law enforcement activities related to border crimes.
Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes, the ASA vice president, said even though he isn’t a border county his deputies seize thousands of fentanyl pills a week and make numerous human smuggling arrests.
“In Arizona, we are all on the border as criminals export their drugs and other cargo to other states. Gov. Hobbs has seen for herself just some of the problems at our border,” Rhodes said. “Local law enforcement agencies from every corner of this state need the resources to interdict drug mules and arrest human smugglers.”
The Hobbs budget allocates $12 million in one-time funding for grants to law enforcement in border communities. Lamb said much more is needed.
“Our deputies in each of Arizona’s 15 counties encounter human, money and drug smugglers crossing the border,” Lamb said. “We can’t wait for the federal government to step up. Arizona must act decisively to stanch the flow of drugs heading to the rest of the country.”